U.S. Men’s National Team forward Clint Mathis becomes the third U.S. player in the last week to hop the pond and join a European side as Hannover 96 of the German Bundesliga announced today that the former MetroStars striker as signed on through 2006 with an option for 2007. Mathis was out of contact with MLS and therefore was a free transfer.
Mathis has appeared for the U.S. 38 times since his debut in 1998 vs. Australia. A crucial member of the 2002 World Cup team, the 27-year-old recorded two goals and four assists in qualifying before scoring the only goal for the U.S. vs. Korea in a 1-1 draw to send the U.S. through the group.
"This is the next step to move on to something different," Mathis said. "I'm definitely looking to come back to MLS at a certain point, the league has been great to me. It was a good learning process for me and it helped me to make it to Europe."
In Major League Soccer, Mathis has scored 52 goals in 146 matches (including postseason) while playing for first the Los Angeles Galaxy and most recently the MetroStars.
Mathis joins U.S. international Steve Cherundolo at Hannover, which is currently 11th in the 18-team league. Earlier this week, another pair of U.S. internationals became teammates in Europe as both Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra joined Fulham of the English Premier League.
Also in Germany, U.S. international defenders Gregg Berhalter and Tony Sanneh play in the second division, while defender Cory Gibbs plays in the third division.